Lengua de Res


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • 6 to 8


Appears in

Secrets of Colombian Cooking

Secrets of Colombian Cooking

By Patricia McCausland-Gallo

Published 2004

  • About

Tongue is a very common dish in Colombia; you can buy it clean and ready to cook, in large markets. It is typically cooked in a pressure cooker, like many of our dishes, and then seasoned with hogao. Either of the two hogaos in this book will go with it. As I was testing recipes in Bogotá, I cooked lengua for my children, but they heard what it was and were a bit shocked! But so many homes serve it regularly that children get used to it before knowing what it is.


  • 1 (3-pound) beef tongue, cleaned by your butcher
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • of a 12-ounce can of beer (8 ounces)
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup peeled and diced tomato
  • 4 tablespoons minced cilantro
  • 4 tablespoons red wine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • ½ tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ recipe of Hogao Del Pacífico or Hogao del Caribe, for serving (optional)


  1. Cook the clean tongue covered with water and the baking soda in a pressure cooker for 40 minutes to an hour, or for about 2½ hours in a regular pot. Remove from the pot and peel off the outer skin; it will peel off easily.
  2. Discard the water, and put the peeled tongue back in the pressure cooker or pot. Add the rest of the ingredients plus 1 cup of water, cover and cook for another 45 minutes in the pressure cooker, or 1½ hours in the regular pot. Remove from the pot, let cool, and slice.
  3. Remove any excess fat from the liquid in the pot, and taste for salt. Serve with the meat and juices as is, or add the half recipe of hogao if desired.